I am contented to consume my body, to sacrifice to God’s service, and to spend all that I have, and to be spent myself, for the souls of men.
While women weep, as they do now, I’ll fight; while little children go hungry, I’ll fight; while men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now, I’ll fight; while there is a drunkard left, while there is a poor lost girl upon the streets, where there remains one dark soul without the light of God – I’ll fight! I’ll fight to the very end!
I care not where I go, or how I live, or what I endure so that I may save souls. When I sleep I dream of them; when I awake they are first in my thoughts…no amount of scholastic attainment, of able and profound exposition of brilliant and stirring eloquence can atone for the absence of a deep impassioned sympathetic love for human souls.
It gave me no pleasure to see people drink in my opinions if they seemed ignorant of Jesus Christ and the value of being saved by Him. Sound conviction for sin, especially the sin of unbelief, and a heart set on fire to be saved by Christ, with a strong yearning for a truly sanctified soul-this was what delighted me; those were the souls I considered blessed.
When Christ is central in the heart of the man, what does the man want to do? He wants to tell others about Jesus, and he will do so effectively. Let Jesus Christ be central in the heart of a man, and he is going to be burdened and troubled because millions have never heard of Christ. It is going to disturb him and bring him into action. What he needs is not more exhortation; he needs Christ. And the Christ within him who died for the world will speak through him to that lost world. Without true passion for Christ, nothing works consistently. It loses its power.
If we are to grab the next generation with the gospel, we must grab them with passion. And to grab them with passion, we must be gripped with it ourselves. The world needs to see Christians burning, not with self-righteous fury at the sliding morals in our country, but with passion for God. As W.E. Sangster put it, “I’m not interested to know if you could set the Thames on fire. What I want to know is this: if I picked you up by the scruff of your neck and dropped you into the Thames, would it sizzle?”
The Secret to Reaching the Next Generation by Kevin DeYoung taken from Don’t Call it a Comeback, edited by Kevin DeYoung, copyright 2011, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org, p. 23-24. Get this book!
David Brainerd prayed with fasting for the Lord’s leadership regarding his entry into ministry. He said of his experience during that day, “I felt the power of intercession for precious, immortal souls; for the advancement of the kingdom of my dear Lord and Saviour in the world; and withal, a most sweet resignation and even consolation and joy in the thoughts of suffering hardships, distresses, and even death itself, in the promotion of it…. My soul was drawn out very much for the world, for multitudes of souls. I think I had more enlargement for sinners than for the children of God, though I felt as if I could spend my life in cries for both. I enjoyed great sweetness in communion with my dear Saviour. I think I never in my life felt such an entire weanedness from this world and so much resigned to God in everything.
If a church truly loves God and the fame of His name, it is jealous for more and more people to know and praise Him. Every conversion means one more mouth is praising God, and every church planted is a chorus of mouths. Our love for the world is born out of our love for God. The greater our love for God, the greater our desire for others to display God’s glory by enjoying Him.
The glory of God, and, as our only means to glorifying Him, the salvation of human souls, is the real business of life.
If you’re going to do evangelism, if you’re going to be a missionary, if you’re going to proclaim the kingdom of God, if you’re going to tell people about the King, the Lord Jesus Christ, it’s going to start with an attitude. It’s going to start in the heart. You could train people till you’re blue in the face, you can give them all kinds of information, you can load their theological gun, you can give them strategies and methodologies, but effective evangelism is done by highly motivated people. Understand that. It’s not about training, it’s about motivation.
Lost people matter to God, and so they must matter to us (Keith Wright).
A broken, leaping heart will love like Jesus. And the power of the love will be proportionate to the felt fearfulness of our nearness to destruction. The keener the memory of our awful rescue, the more naturally we pity those in a similar plight. The more deeply we feel how undeserved and free was the grace that plucked us from the flames; the freer will be our benevolence to sinners. We do not love as passionately as we ought because our belief in these things is not real. So our pride is not broken and our demeanor not lowly. And we do not look with aching and longing on the crowds that pass us in the airport or the straying members of our flock.
To preach the eternal lostness of unbelievers without tears would be a cold and dead orthodoxy indeed. And to teach it without a great emphasis upon our own responsibility, in the light of hell, to do all we can, regardless of the cost, so that men might know the gospel – that would be totally ugly and opposed to this biblical message that those who are lost are my kind.
If we follow the first commandment and place no other gods before the true God and we are naturally wired to speak of that which is most important to us, it only stands to reason that we will we a faithful witness for Jesus Christ, our treasure chest of holy joy.
What’s my goal for my kids? Is it just to keep them off drugs, get good grades and come out to church with the family? That might make for training a good American, but not necessarily for training a good Christian. I want my children to see their role as a Christian is not only preventing themselves from being stained by the world (here is where many Christian parents stop), but also empowered by the Holy Spirit to be used as an agent to transform the world. It’s helping them to understand, modeling it for them and giving them opportunities to be ambassadors for Christ.
You need to believe it is essential that others hear the Gospel because the eternal destiny of an individual’s soul is hanging in the balance. Being convinced of this reality, combined with our love for others, compels us to share the message of salvation.
When God works in a Christian’s heart, our primary attitude toward unbelievers is not rejection, frustration or exultation over their destiny. It’s compassion. It’s being able to see them as an image bearer of God (regardless of how they look or what they may do) lost in this world and on the road to an eternal hell. And that is our motivation for evangelism. It’s because God has given us a heart for all humans and in that love we are compelled to get them the message of Jesus so they may be saved from hell. After all, that was God’s love toward you before you accepted Christ, right?
If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms around their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled with the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.
Winners of souls must first be weepers for souls.
It is true that a fisherman may fish and never catch any fish, but, if so, he is not much of a fisherman. And so, if there were no souls saved when I preached, perhaps I might find some way of satisfying my conscience, but I don’t know what it is yet. If my hearers are not converted, I feel like I have wasted my time; I have lost the exercise of brain and heart. I feel as if I lost my hope and lost my life, unless I find for my Lord some of His blood-bought ones.
If then, you will be damned, let me have this one thing as a consolation for your misery, that you are not damned for the lack of calling after; you are not lost for the lack of weeping after, and not lost for the lack of praying after.
To be laughter at is no great hardship to me. I can delight in scoffs and jeers Caricatures, lampoons, and slanders are my glory. But that you should turn from your own mercy, that is my sorrow. Spit on me, but, oh, repent! Laugh at me, but, oh, believe in my Master! Make my body as the dirt of the streets, but damn not your own souls!
Love your fellowmen, and cry about them if you cannot bring them to Christ. If you cannot save them, you can weep over them. If you cannot give them a drop of cold water in hell, you can give them your heart’s tears while they are still in this body.
If I never won souls, I would sigh till I did. I would break my heart over them if I could not break their hearts. Though I can understand the possibility of an earnest sower never reaping, I cannot understand the possibility of an earnest sower being content not to reap. I cannot comprehend any one of you Christian people trying to win souls and not having results, and being satisfied without results.
Believing that further delay would be sinful, some of God’s insignificants and nobodies in particular, but trusting in our Omnipotent God, have decided on certain simple lines, according to the Book of God, to make a definite attempt to render the evangelization of the world an accomplished fact… Too long have we been waiting for one another to begin! The time for waiting is past! The hour of God has struck! In God’s holy name let us arise and build! We will not build on the sand, but on the bedrock sayings of Christ, and the gates and minions of hell shall not prevail against us. Should such men as we fear? Before the whole world, aye, before the sleepy, lukewarm, faithless, nambypamby Christian world, we will dare to trust our God, we will venture our all for Him, we will live and we will die for Him, and we will do it with His joy unspeakable singing aloud in our hearts. We will a thousand times sooner die trusting only in our God than live trusting in man. And when we come to this position the battle is already won, and the end of the glorious campaign in sight. We will have the real Holiness of God, not the sickly stuff of talk and dainty words and pretty thoughts; we will have a Masculine Holiness, one of daring faith and works for Jesus Christ.
Some want to live within the sound of Church or Chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell.